Legislation has been passed establishing the National Vocational Education and Training (VET) regulator.


From 1 July 2011, the new regulator—which will operate as the Australian Skills Quality Authority—will begin regulating training providers in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.


Regulation of Queensland, South Australian and Tasmanian providers will follow later in the year once legislation is passed by respective State Governments. The Commonwealth Government will continue to work to bring Victoria and Western Australia within the national system.


The passage of three bills that establish the Regulator followed the tabling earlier this week of the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committees’  which recommended acceptance of the bills without amendment.


The bills amend the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Act 2000, as recommended by the Baird Review.


The new regulator will use a risk-based approach, allowing it to focus closely on poor performers in vocational education and training while reducing the regulatory burden for strong, proven providers.


The legislation establishes a strengthened regulatory framework with a range of escalating penalties to ensure the new regulator can deal with underperforming training providers.


The Government has committed $55 million over four years to create the new regulator, as part of the Skills for Sustainable Growth package announced in last year’s Federal Budget. The Government is also consulting stakeholders on reforms to be introduced later this year which are aimed at strengthening the tuition protection framework for international students.


Further information on passing of the three Bills that establish the new regulator—the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Bill 2010 [2011]; the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011, and the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (Transitional Provisions) Bill 2010 National VET regulator is available at www.deewr.gov.au/vetregulator.